Mkhize wants to help set children free from myths

A first pre-colonial history book for children

After becoming a mother, Makhanda-based historian Nomalanga Mkhize realised that there were no children’s books that depicted a decolonised version of African history, so she decided to write her own.

Makhanda-based historian, Nomalanga Mkhize, 38, recently wrote a children's book depicting a decolonised version of African history.
THE STORY: Makhanda-based historian, Nomalanga Mkhize, 38, recently wrote a children's book depicting a decolonised version of African history.
Image: SUPPLIED

Self-publishing her first children’s book titled In Africa with Avi and Kumbi in March, Mkhize, 38, has since been praised by various media outlets throughout the country for filling a huge gap in the market.

She also recently appeared on South African news broadcaster eNCA.

Chatting to Daily Dispatch, Mkhize said it was important for all children in SA to grow up with an understanding of the history of Africa from an African perspective.

“It’s become so embedded in our minds that Africa had nothing before colonialism, but that’s not true, there is so much rich history of the people of Africa, but our children don’t get to hear this story, they grow up with the myths that Africa and Africans have nothing to offer and as a result believe that they have nothing to offer,” said Mkhize, who grew up with a fond love of history.

“I remember my father always narrating historical accounts to us…it was always considered important in our home,” she said.

Mkhize, who was born in KwaZulu Natal, is best known for her role as a former presenter of SABC’s Shoreline.

She is currently completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Rhodes University and has a PhD in history from UCT.

Her book, aimed at children between eight to 13 years of age, spans a 12,000-year history of Africa, and delves into African philosophy, slavery and colonialism.

The book is illustrated by Port Elizabeth artists Sanelisiwe Singaphi and Bulelani Booi.

“It’s so important for black children to see themselves as agents of stories and see themselves represented in books and media.” Mkhize said.

The book is available at most Exclusive Books and Bargain Books outlets around the country.

To find out more or to order a copy of Mkhize’s book, e-mail: kids@historyeducation.africa.

madeleinec@dispatch.co.za

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